person looking at old pages
Hutchison memoirs

Longtime Kalaupapa resident Ambrose Kanewaliʻi Hutchison is the subject of a talk by author and historian Anwei Law on Thursday, January 23, 5–6 p.m. at Windward Community College’s Hale Laʻakea Library Learning Commons.

Hutchison was born on Maui, the son of a Native Hawaiian woman and a Scottish physician. He developed Hansen’s disease, also known as leprosy, in his youth and was sent to Kalaupapa in 1879 at the age of 20. He spent the next 53 years there and left an indelible mark on Kalaupapa’s history that has only begun to be acknowledged in recent years.

Hutchison worked closely with, and outlived, most of the major figures in Kalaupapa’s early history including Father Damien, Mother Marianne, Rudolph Meyer, Queen Kapiʻolani, Queen Liliʻuokalani and Joseph Dutton. He wrote and re-copied hundreds of pages of his recollections of a lifetime at Kalaupapa.

Law’s talk “Ambrose K. Hutchison: The Story that No One Else Could Tell” is supported by Ka ʻOhana O Kalaupapa, the Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities and the IDEA Center for the Voices of Humanity.

This presentation is part of a series of events in conjunction with A Source of Light, Constant and Never Fading exhibit about Kalaupapa in the Windward CC library. Events and the exhibit are free and open to the public. Access to the third floor is available by elevator.

For more information about the exhibit and upcoming related events, and the Hawaiʻi Collection Room at Hale Laʻakea, please contact Cindy Texeira at (808) 235-7340 or

—By Bonnie Beatson